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					        NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

                           NEWSLETTER

                                E-mail edition


    STAFFORDSHIRE POLICE NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
               ANNUAL CONFERENCE

     Please come and join us on Saturday 8th October 2005 at Yarnfield Park,
                 Yarnfield, near Stone between 10am and 4pm.
                          This year‟s conference theme is:

                    ‘Our Changing Society, it’s Crime and Policing’

                Keynote speakers will include the Assistant Chief Constable.

The conference is open to all members of Neighbourhood Watch. It is FREE other than
your personal transport costs and there is a FREE buffet lunch. Why not take this
opportunity to meet with other like-minded members of Neighbourhood Watch, not just
from our division, but from across Staffordshire.

The conference is always well attended and places are limited. To enrol as a delegate or to
obtain further information, please contact the Neighbourhood Watch Team on 01785-
235995 0r 01785-234427 by Friday 9th September.



                                DID YOU KNOW?
During the 12-month period April 1st 2004 to March 31st 2005, in the Chase Policing
Division there has been a 23% reduction in the theft of vehicles, a 19% fall in thefts
from vehicles and a 25% reduction in the incidents of domestic burglary. In ongoing
initiatives, 50 people have been charged with the supply of Class „A‟ drugs, and the same
period has seen a 6% reduction in fatal and serious road accidents.

Working closely with partnership agencies and community members, the division has been
highly active in tackling anti social behaviour. Increased visibility of the police family is
assisted by the employment of 18 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) throughout
the division.
                                 Seasonal Crime
The trend in thefts from vehicles often increases in the spring and summer time. Common
sense precautions wherever you leave your car can help to protect against the opportunist
criminal:

   Secure the vehicle
   Never leave keys unattended in the ignition
   Remove all valuables

Visitors to rural car parks on Cannock Chase this summer will
be reminded to be vigilant by officers from Rugeley LPU.
„Operation Angel‟. Launched on Saturday 28th May is a new style mobile anti-car-theft
campaign supported by Cannock Chase Council. A branded „Operation Angel‟ Ford Focus
car will be touring the car parks during the busy summer period, reminding visitors to be
vigilant. Posters in the main parking areas will support the campaign.

                                   Car Boot Blitz
Police Officers and Trading Standards Officers continue to target car boot sales in the
Chase Division and recently descended on boot sales in the Watling Street LPU at
Huntington and Shareshill, seizing counterfeit DVDs and CDs with a street value of
£150,000. At the Huntington boot sale, one man was arrested at the scene for offering fake
items for sale.
Sgt Phil Lloyd said “The discs being sold, both DVDs and music, are of very poor quality
indeed” He went on to say that all items seized will be destroyed.
Watling Street Community Action Team Police Officers have also responded to community
concerns over congestion and parking at car boot sales, issuing fixed penalty notices to
drivers parking illegally.

           Community Speed Watch Keeps on Growing
Twelve Speed Watch schemes are now fully operational in the Stafford and Stone LPUs.
Fully trained teams of volunteers, wearing bright yellow jackets and using the latest radar
speed detection equipment are helping the police to pinpoint speeding hot-spots.

The first schemes were introduced in December 2004 and figures up to April 2005 show:
 Over 350 vehicles have been monitored
 In excess of 200 warning letters have been issued to vehicle owners
 35% of the vehicles issued with warning letters exceeded the speed limit by over
   15mph
 25% of all vehicles monitored were locally owned

Community Speed Watch forms part of the Chase Division‟s „Operation Cats Eyes‟ which
aims to address a number of motoring offences. Drivers throughout the area are being
reminded of the following:

          Cut your speed
          Don’t drink and drive
          Always wear a seat belt
          Don’t use a hand-held phone whilst driving

If you live in the Stafford or Stone LPUs and you would be interested in developing Speed
Watch in your area, please contact Steve Wilson, Police Partnership Co-ordinator on 08453-
30-20-10
            Wombourne LPU Community Beat Update
Inspector Pat Shannaghan (3768) 01785-234460
Sergeant Chris Collins (4730)
01785-234451
Wombourne/Swindon/Himley/Seisdon/
Trysull/Lower Penn
PC Lee Hardy (4951)
PC Dean Colley (3640)
PCSO Joanne Scully
Codsall/Oaken
Sgt Matthew Walker (4706)
PC Andrew Edwards (4086)
PC Dave Allen (4391)
Perton/Pattingham/Patshull
PC Frank Hossack (3537)
PC Duncan Lampitt (4259)
Bilbrook
PC David Underhill (4844)
Kinver/Enville/Bobbington
PC Christopher Baker (3602)
PC Wayne Green (4672)
PCSO Karleen Salmon
Codsall/Bilbrook
PCSO David Layton


                                  PRIZE QUIZ
THIS MONTH, TWO WINNING ENTRIES WILL RECEIVE A
     DEFENDER 111T PERSONAL SAFETY ALARM
    When activated, the alarm‟s 130dB alarm sounds and a strobe-effect light flashes.
 The light can also be used as a torch and the alarm can be used to protect handbags by
attaching the catch on the alarm to the strap of the bag, and the ripcord to yourself using
the G clip. If the bag is snatched, the ripcord will be pulled out and the alarm will sound in
                                           the bag.

                                This month’s question is:
  What is this year’s Neighbourhood Watch Conference theme?
                         (The answer is in the newsletter)

           Telephone 01785-235995 with your answer, or post it to:
  Neighbourhood Watch, Police Station, Wolverhampton Road, Cannock, Staffs,
                                 WS11 1AU

                    Entries must be received by Friday 29TH July 2005
     Results and correct answer will be published in the August/September newsletter

                       APRIL/MAY PRIZE WINNER
Chase Division Crime Reduction Sergeant Maurice Annette drew the winning entry out of a
hat.
Stan Davies, Hazel Slade, wins an Autodot security marking kit He correctly stated that the
incidents of house break-ins dropped by 28% when comparing April-December 2003 with
the same period in 2004
    Calling Stafford and Stone Neighbourhood Watches
Is your scheme due for a meeting? Would your members be interested in a talk about the
objectives of Neighbourhood Watch and the local agencies that can help to maintain and
improve the quality of life in your local area?

Stafford Borough Council is funding this talk and free information packs for everyone who
attends. The offer is available until March 2006.

If you would like to arrange a talk, or have a no-obligation chat about what we can offer in
your local area, please ring Vicki Singleton on 01785-235995

                          Tips from Co-ordinators
Cyril, Stone LPU
Some insurance companies will give a discount on home contents insurance to members of
a police registered Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Have you reminded your members about
this recently? If your scheme has been established for some time, have the boundaries
changed? Do the Neighbourhood Watch Team have a current list of all the streets you
cover, so that they are all registered – also important in order for your whole scheme area
to be covered by the Police registered Neighbourhood Watch Public Liability Insurance.
George, Hednesford
Another scam in the mail: Be suspicious of letters purporting to be from debt collectors,
and threatening action if the debt is not paid promptly.
If in doubt, contact Trading Standards on 01785-277888

                        FORENSIC INVESTIGATION
Modern day policing relies more and more on identifiable evidence in order to achieve a
conviction in the courts. One of the most important weapons in the Forensic Investigators
armoury is DNA.
Unfortunately the latest DNA techniques are very sensitive and the risks of contamination
are very high. If a crime occurs in a Neighbourhood Watch area, members of
Neighbourhood Watch can have an important role to play in preserving evidence.

In the unfortunate event of a crime it is a natural reaction to want to clear up and return
the situation back to normal. Remind your members not to, especially if there is an
obvious opportunity to retrieve evidence e.g. blood, cigarette ends, chewing gum, bottles,
masks, hats, clothing, food or handled items. Cleaning up can destroy vital clues that could
identify the offender. So leave everything just as it is. This will assist Scenes of Crimes
Officers in their investigation.

Also of great importance in any crime investigation is property that has been marked with a
postcode. So always remember to tell the Forensic Investigator what items have been
coded and if available, provide a photograph of any stolen items.

                      Those Mysterious Invitations
From time to time, you will see small adverts in the local papers or receive a WatchOUT
telephone message inviting you to a Police Authority and community Consultative
Committee public meeting (PACC). Have you ever wondered what it‟s all about?
PACC meetings are a country-wide statutory obligation. The Government introduced them
after the Toxteth riots as a way for the police to keep closer contact with local
communities.
Each Local Policing Unit holds four meetings a year. The meetings move around the area,
being held at a different location each time. They are chaired by the Police Authority and
comprise of a committee made up of representatives from local agencies such as the
Police, County, District and Parish Councils, Neighbourhood Watch, the Racial Equality
Council and local Head Teachers.
The aim of the meetings is to identify and discuss crime and disorder concerns with the
local community, and look for ways to address these concerns.
Quite often, the most effective response to a problem will require the attention of more
than one agency, and at these meetings the whole committee can assist in directing the
most appropriate course of action

                         Keep Your Car Keys Safe!
There is a continuing trend in house burglaries in order to steal car keys, and then the car
from the driveway.

In some instances, keys have been „fished‟ from hallways using an implement inserted
through the letter box, in other incidents, keys have been stolen through an insecure door
or window, and some burglaries have been of the more traditional kind. The vehicles
targeted are often high specification models or sports cars.

To help to reduce the opportunity for this type of crime:
 Where possible, garage your vehicle
 Ensure that both vehicle and garage are locked and secure
 If you have garage or vehicle alarms, make sure that they
   are switched on
 If your vehicle is particularly vulnerable, consider using a
   wheel clamp
 Always try to park in a well lit area
 Keep your car keys safe and out of sight, away from doors and windows
 If you see anything suspicious, call the police immediately.


                  Ten Top Tips For Summer Security
1. In three out of ten burglaries criminals gain access through
   an insecure door or window. Make sure that all doors and
   windows are secure not just when you leave home, but in
   unoccupied rooms and especially when you are in the garden.
2. Burglars don‟t want to be seen or heard. Visible burglar alarms
   can make an opportunist burglar think twice, gravel surfaces
   outside your home are noisy to walk on, and movement activated outside lights
   illuminate any activity. Think about planting people-repelling shrubs (very prickly)
   around the perimeters of your garden
3. Never leave a spare key hidden outside your home. Burglars know where to look! Keep
   car keys secure and out of sight in the house, away from doors and windows.
4. Keep garages and sheds locked and consider fitting them with an alarm. Put away
   garden equipment and tools after use. They are not only attractive to a thief but they
   can also be used to break into your home or your neighbour‟s home.
5. Postcode your property. Visible markings can deter a thief because they make property
   harder to sell and if the worst happens, property marking might help the police to
   secure a conviction and return your stolen goods.
6. Some burglars use false pretences to trick residents into letting them into a home.
   Thoroughly check the identity of any callers. If in doubt, call the police and don‟t let
   them in. Remember to make sure your home is secure before answering the door to
   strangers. There may be an accomplice waiting to sneak in while you are occupied at
   the doorstep.
7. When you are away on holiday, make sure that your home looks lived in. Cancel milk
   and papers, ask a neighbour to collect your mail, put rubbish in your bin and put it out
   for collection. Think about automatic timers to turn lights on when it goes dark, and if
   you are going to be away for several weeks, arrange for someone to cut your lawn.
8. Before you go away, make sure that you have up-to-date house insurance. Avoid
   leaving TVs, videos or other valuables where they can be seen through windows. If you
   keep expensive property like bicycles and power tools in your garden shed, think about
   protecting them by bringing them indoors while you are away.
9. Before you set off on holiday, take a minute on the doorstep to check that you have left
   your home secure and set the house alarm.
10. Don‟t put your home address on the outside of your luggage when travelling to your
   holiday destination.

                       Trading Standards Warnings
Bogus Library fines
There has been a recent spate of telephone calls to residents in Staffordshire supposedly
demanding payment on outstanding library books. Trading Standards advice if you receive
such a call is not to send any payment, but to check with your local library to see if any
fines are due.
Another E-mail Scam
Some customers of high street retailers have been contacted by e-mail and informed of a
competition purporting to be run in conjunction with the store. Some e-mails use the „you
have won a free holiday‟ line and ask for credit card details, other e-mails offer a free
holiday but alter the resident‟s internet access number to a premium, rate one.
Tax Form Scam
A warning issued on 16th May is regarding thousands of fraudulent tax forms that have
been sent out purporting to be from the Inland Revenue in an attempt to gain resident‟s
bank details. The form purports to be one that the Inland Revenue send to British Citizens
who have worked abroad, and are dated 17th January.
Please be careful with your personal information. Identity fraud is a serious criminal
offence.
                            Year of the Volunteer
2005 is the year of the volunteer and there are some very interesting facts on the subject.
 22 million volunteers are involved in formal volunteering.
 90 million hours of formal volunteering work takes place every week
 Six out of ten volunteers say that volunteering gives them an opportunity to learn new
   skills.
 Half of all volunteers get involved because they are asked to help.
 90% of the population agree with the notion that a society with volunteers shows a
   caring society.
 The economic Value of formal Volunteering has been calculated to be in the region of
   £40 billion per year
 The total public sector support for volunteering is estimated to be in the region of £400
   million per year.
Contrary to popular thinking, young people do support the idea of volunteering. To
successfully involve young people, organisations need to recognise their need for flexibility
and variety among other things.

Neighbourhood Watch, which began in the UK 23 years ago,           is now the UK‟s largest
voluntary organisation with around 6 million members.
                   A SUMMER MESSAGE FROM
             STAFFORDSHIRE FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE
If you are going away on holiday, take a few minutes to check that all stoves and electrical
equipment have been turned of and disconnected. Unplug all televisions and radios as
lightening storms or sudden electrical surges could cause a fire in this equipment. When
you return home, check to make sure that smoke alarms are still functioning.

Countryside fires can have a devastating effect on forests, crops, livestock and wildlife. It
can take only a short period of seven to 10 days of dry weather to increase fire hazards
considerably.

                       THE COUNTRYSIDE FIRE CODE
   Fires should not be lit outdoors unless it is absolutely safe to do so (and never on
    moorland peat).

   people should not try to speed up a barbecue by using petrol.

   dry grass and matches are a killer combination. Carelessly discarded cigarettes and
    matches cause thousands of fires in the UK each year.

   litter, as well as being unsightly, can provide fuel for a fire.

   a discarded glass bottle can magnify the sun‟s rays and ignite surrounding grassland.

   on residential caravan sites, grass and undergrowth should be cut regularly. Cuttings
    should be removed so that they do not dry out and become a fire risk.

   cars should not be parked where they may hinder fire appliances.

   grass and woodland fires can spread at great speed and change direction without
    warning. People should not attempt to fight a fire without assistance, unless the fire is
    small.


                                       Holiday Help
The summer school holidays will soon be here again. Unfortunately, this time of year often
sees an increase in the incidents of damage and break-ins at our local schools. A number of
schools in the Chase Policing Division are members of School Watch – the school equivalent
of Neighbourhood Watch, but at holiday time, when the schools are empty, they need a bit
of help. If you have a school close to your Neighbourhood Watch scheme, a watchful eye
and a quick telephone call to the police if you see anything suspicious, could save our
schools the expense of repairs and replacement of stolen property.

                                          IN BRIEF
DNA Success
An offender who caused damage and stole property from 18 cars at a commercial garage in
the Stafford area was disturbed by employees. As he made off, he left his baseball cap
behind. The youth was identified by DNA from the cap and subsequently arrested.
Witness Evidence Leads To Arrest
A resident provided vital evidence, which led to the arrest of an offender for the theft of
property from a car in the Stafford area. The resident had witnessed the offender smash
the car window and make off with property.
Don‟t Drink and Drive!
A candidate for this month‟s smartest criminal comes from the Stone area. The offender
spotted an insecure and unattended motor scooter with keys left in the ignition. The
offender jumped onto the scooter and rode off, only to fall off a short distance away,
causing himself personal injury. The offender was arrested at the scene and provided a
positive breath test.
Local Crime
Two offenders who attempted to break into a house in the Cannock area were easily
identified by neighbours who spotted them attempting to remove the beading from a
window. Both offenders lived a few doors away from the offence location!
Neighbours Disturb Offender
A house burglar set off the alarm when he attempted to break into a house in the Meir
Heath area. Neighbours were alerted by the noise and on inspection spotted the offender
making off through the rear garden. The neighbours immediately called the police, who
promptly located and arrested the offender.
Car Thieves Arrested
A quick telephone call from a resident in Stone alerted the police to an offender attempting
to steal a car. The police attended immediately, and as they arrived at the location, they
spotted the vehicle being driven off the wrong way down a one way street. A police officer
coming up the street also spotted this and used his vehicle to block the road. One male and
one female offender were arrested. The female was also found to be in possession of an
illegal drug.
Three Arrested for Burglary and Car Theft
Three offenders have been arrested following a house burglary in the Stafford area where
car keys and the resident‟s car were stolen. After a short police pursuit, the offenders
abandoned the vehicle and made off on foot. All three were arrested after a search of the
area.
Sneak-in Arrest
A cheeky female offender walked into a Dental Surgery in the Stafford LPU, entered part of
the building not used by customers, and stole a purse. Luckily, she was spotted making off
and from the description and her direction of travel, officers soon located and arrested her.
Juvenile Cautioned
Residents in Brereton, Rugeley, called the police one evening when they spotted a juvenile
throwing stones to smash the panes of glass in their local telephone box. The police
attended immediately and arrested the juvenile at the scene.
Police Patrol Success
A passing police patrol recently came across an unusual crime in the Rugeley policing area.
A car which had been left insecure in a lay-by after running out of petrol, had been pushed
onto it‟s side by a group of seven youths who had the intention of stealing the exhaust
pipes. The officer detained five youths, and they promptly gave the names and details of
the two who had made off from the scene.
Another Contender
Another contender for smartest criminal is the chap who stole the tax disc from an insecure
car in the Heath Hayes area. The offender then used the tax disc in his own vehicle. The
disc was spotted and he was arrested within a few days of the offence.
Indecent Offence
A case of indecent exposure in the Penkridge area was easily solved. The offender
committed the offence whilst standing outside his own front door!
He was promptly arrested, charged and bailed with conditions.
Tyre Slasher Named
An incident of tyre slashing in the Huntington area was detected thanks to a local resident
who witnessed the offence and was able to identify the offender to the police.
       URGENT/EMERGENCY                                 NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
When a crime is occurring or about to                  We provide members              with    support,
occur, and for all highly suspicious                    guidance and advice.
incidents e.g. youths checking car doors.
                                                       We are here to receive reports of recent
                RING ‘999’                              or long-standing nuisance or anti-social
                                                        behavioural     problems     in     your
                                                        neighbourhood.
             NON-URGENT                                We would like to receive your
                                                        information of all suspicious persons,
       Ring 08453-30-20-10                              vehicles,   activities or   occurrences
                                                        (information that doesn‟t require an
For all non-emergency calls. The call handler           immediate telephone call to the police)
will transfer you to the person best able to help
you.
                                                    All information received is treated with
       Crime Reduction Officers                     complete confidentiality.
       Cannock & Rugeley LPUs
  PC Gordon Scott: Ring 01785-234228                PLEASE, LET US
        Stafford & Stone LPUs                       KNOW WHAT YOU
   PC Jack Welsh: Ring 01785-234029                 KNOW!
  Wombourne & Watling Street LPUs
  PC Andy Heaton: Ring 01785-235984                 Vicki Singleton
                                                    Ring 01785-235995
            Local Councils                          e-mail:
   Cannock Chase District Council                   victoria.singleton@staffordshire. pnn.police.uk
          Ring 01543-462621                         Ray Jones
Web address: www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk              Ring: 01785-234427
      Stafford Borough Council                      e-mail:
          Ring 01785-619000                         raymond.jones@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk
  Web address: www.staffordbc.gov.uk
 South Staffordshire District Council
          Ring 01902-696000                                       STAFFORDSHIRE
    Web address: www.sstaffs.gov.uk                           FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE
                                                              For information and advice
      Staffordshire Crimestoppers
       FREEPHONE 0800-555-111                       Cannock & Rugeley               01543-572944
                                                    Stafford & Stone                01785-236100
                                                    South Staffs                    01902-84739
    Staffordshire Trading Standards
          Ring: 01785-277888




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